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Gif - Word of The Year in America

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By Emma Koonse, Christian Post Reporter
November 14, 2012|9:07 am

The Oxford University Press has announced the 2012 American word of the year as "gif" on Tuesday.

The word gif is a verb, short for graphics interchange format, and has become a popular format for images on the Internet. The term means, "to create a gif file (an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event."

The Oxford University Press, which tracks the English language and chooses both a British and American word each year, chose gif as a term that best reflects the mood of 2012.

Contenders for the American word of the year included Superstorm as it related to Hurricane Sandy, Super PAC, YOLO, an acronym that stands for "you only live once," and nomophobia, the fear caused when one takes a trip without their cell phone.

"There were lots of contenders related to words that had been in the news like 'self-deportation' and 'pink slime,'" Katherine Martin, head of the U.S. dictionaries program at Oxford University Press USA, told The Los Angeles Times.

"But gif transcended any particular event and spoke to an overall trend of how we consume media," she added.

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Examples of events that have been giffed include subjects such as cute animals or President Obama where typically a humorous caption is applied to a very brief video- or a gif.

To see exampled of gifs online, visit the Tumblr account for GifHumor.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., lexicographers at the Oxford University Press's selected the word omnishambles as this year's word.

The term was coined on the comedy television series "The Thick of It."

Meaning, "a word used to describe a comprehensively mismanaged situation characterized by a shambolic string of blunders," the word is already being utilized on Twitter Wednesday.

"Gif is America's word of the year," asked Guardian Books via Twitter. "Now that's what I call an omnishambles."

Another user posted, "So, deficit is down, unemployment is down, economy is growing, crime down, youth unemployment falling, some omnishambles."

Martin quipped, "Oxford English Dictionary named Omnishambles word of the year, it comes with a picture of my dating life next to it."

 

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